crime

Man detained in first arrest for illegal reselling of face masks in Japan

24 Comments

Okayama prefectural police have arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of violating a law banning the reselling of face masks, in the first such case in Japan.

The law was enacted on March 15 in response to price-gouging in the wake of the panic buying frenzy that created a shortage of commodities from toilet paper to masks. 

According to police, Junki Fujii, a board member of a house cleaning company in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, was arrested on Monday for reselling 70,000 masks he purchased from an importer on April 29, Sankei Shimbun reported. At the time, Fujii paid 44 yen per mask for 3.08 million yen. 

He then resold 14,000 masks to a self-employed male acquaintance in Okayama City for 49.5 yen each (a total of 693,000 yen). In addition, Fujii sold another 2,000 masks to another man in Kurashiki City for 50.6 yen apiece (a total of 101,200 yen).

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24 Comments
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They won't jail him, because then they'd have to jail a whole lot of people, including politicians, for doing the same.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

Masks are readily available in drug stores now, so get them now before the 2nd wave hits!

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

I know price gouging laws were set in place, but this seems trifling.

The article suggests he made a profit of about ¥5 per mask or about ¥250 for a standard box of 50 masks. I also saw these figures on the news last night. So 70,000 masks X ¥5 = ¥350,000. OK but Not exactly a windfall for the outlay and all the stuffing around.

And that was when masks were becoming quite common in any number of outlets. I bought a box of 50 from a stall in my local arcade at that time for ¥3000. Now you can buy for ¥1600. Still way overpriced, but I never heard of any one being arrested.

If this had occurred in March and the resale price was considerably upped, well I'd understand.

Somehow this smacks of the local constabulary being seen to be tough on baddies - after the horse has bolted.

Or Mr Fujii was not popular with the force for other reasons - or not popular with local shop owners.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

He only made 5 or 6 yen from each mask. Is this really worth making a big deal over?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

A budding entrepreneur. He sells them at a much lower cost than our Abenomasks.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Abenomasks still not delivered in Kanagawa...should have gone to Kagawa!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yep as above can use my middle finger to point at certain people who made a hell of a lot of money for....well I'm still waiting. Maybe Christmass.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They are not arrested?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems very petty. If he was trying to get ¥500 each for them I could understand. Abenomasks cost just over ¥400 each. They were not sold for profit, but they were paid for with public money. It’s the same thing in my reckoning. Abe was buying votes with public money.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Arresting someone for a 10% markup is Outrageous

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He only made 5 or 6 yen from each mask. Is this really worth making a big deal over?

They always catch small fish, larger ones swim at the bottom intact...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Unless you are a business owner that buys masks directly from factories, they every mask you ever bought was purchased from a reseller. Drug stores don't make masks you know...they buy them and resell them.

This whole thing is just the usual double standard in favor of the rich and against everyone else. Everyone rose their resell prices during the episode. Everyone.

 Abenomasks cost just over ¥400 each. They were not sold for profit, but they were paid for with public money. 

They were sold for profit by the friends of Abe that got the contract for making that garbage. Abe's friends make a real nice profit making something they had no proper experience making. We the taxpayer got robbed. The too late, too small, contaminated masks are like a joke prize when you lose on a game show. But there was profit for Abe's scum of the Earth cronies.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

He sounds like a good business man. I'm sure Abe has played golf with dirtier people, including Trump.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We went to a drug store this evening and saw them selling a box of 50 mask for 3200 Yen. A back before the pandemic those same boxes were selling for 500 Yen. How is that not price gouging?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I hope the police arrest every business that buys at one price, adds on a mark-up of anything from 1% to 5,000% or more, and sells at a profit.

More likely though the court will define ‘gouging’ so that businesses and politicians who own business will be exempt.

Or is this law specifically only for face masks? When are they going to arrest Abe’s friends who made those ridiculous masks no one has gotten yet?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is price gouging? The guy only marked up the masks 10 to 14% and made 4.5 yen and 6.5 yen on sold masks. So, he made a total of $76K yen ( $696 USD) which is really a small amount. In the US, many companies mark up those masks 100 to 2000%. Seems like government overreach.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Pathetic!

Draconian laws like this are why Japanese people are becoming poorer...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Abenomasks still not delivered in Kanagawa...should have gone to Kagawa!

No. Still waiting. Must be the Yamato City officials prioritising new mobile phone laws.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As a philosopher once said ," It is not that the punishment fits the crime, it is that the punishment is assigned according to how powerful or weak the perpetrator is".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If he bought them directly from an importer, then how can he be accused of "reselling" them?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is this really a crime ??? He legally purchased the mask then sold them at a small profit. He was not Hording the mask for himself anyway he may have been selling the mask but at least they were not used.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We went to a drug store this evening and saw them selling a box of 50 mask for 3200 Yen. A back before the pandemic those same boxes were selling for 500 Yen. How is that not price gouging?

The cost of materials (melt blown polypropylene fabric) has gone up by a factor of 10-20x since before the pandemic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bugle Boy of Company BJune 2 07:59 pm JSTArresting someone for a 10% markup is Outrageous

He's still trying to rip people off and that ain't right.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Doesn't seem like he's trying to rip anyone off. And what about the person he sold to? Surely the self-employed male acquaintance didn't need all those masks for himself?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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